REPORT Education’s Missing Millions: Including Disabled Children

Posted on 23 May 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There are 77 million children around the world who have never entered a primary school classroom. Most are from poor families in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. And, according to a recent report (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), one-third of them have disabilities.

This is an enormous proportion when you consider that the World Health Organization estimates that only about 10 percent of the overall world population are people with disabilities. The World Bank has estimated that possibly as many as 15 to 20 percent of the world’s poorest people have disabilities. But even by this estimate, children with disabilities are still disproportionately represented among primary-school-aged children who are not in school.

So, what can be done to address this challenge? A recent 74-page report, Education’s Missing Millions: including disabled children in education through EFA FTI processes and national sector plans (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), explores this question. Education’s Missing Millions was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through a Partnership Programme Agreement with World Vision UK.

Country governments and international donors have been working together on the Education For All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) to put all primary-school aged children into a classroom by the year 2015. This goal cannot possibly be met until disabled children, too, are able to obtain an education. Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb)
analyzes education sector plans that the FTI has endorsed in 28 countries to examine how well they include children with disabilities.

Some efforts have taken place to include disabled children in education in some of these countries. However, Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) still identifies many gaps that must be addressed. For example, many countries do not even have data on how many of their children have disabilities. Also, few countries have explored how they can use funding mechanisms or incentives to support the inclusion of children with disabilities. And countries often do not work as closely as they could with parents, communities, or non-government organizations (NGOs).

Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) calls upon FTI partners to actively target children with disabilities to ensure that they, too, can obtain a free, good-quality education. The report makes a series of recommendations for pragmatic ways in which country governments and donors can promote dialogue about policies and practices within the FTI Partnership; act as a “champion” for inclusion; and close gaps in data, policy, capacity, and financing that would otherwise exclude disabled children.

Both grassroots advocates and policy makers may be interested in the 8th chapter, on local community and NGO initiatives. This chapter presents examples of projects that helped promote the inclusion of a wider number of disabled children in the classroom and their communities.

You can download the full report, Education’s Missing Millions, in PDF format (1.2 Mb) at:

People interested in education for children with disabilities in general may also be interested in reading about a report on the human rights approach to Education For All (EFA). Or you might be interested in joining a network on inclusive education in Eastern Africa; this is an email discussion group that allows you to exchange ideas and information with other people via email.

We Can Do found Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) by browsing the <a href=” database on disability, health, and development.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

We Can Do Copyright
This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do ( Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts in full: and Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )


    Ending poverty among and oppression toward disabled people in developing countries.


    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS


  • The Mwanza Computer Literacy Project

    The Mwanza Computer Literacy Project

    The Tusaidiane Disabilities Resources and Charity Organization of Tanzania (TDRCT) would like to improve computer literacy and self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Mwanza, Tanzania, and promote their empowerment.

    This organization is run by people who themselves have disabilities. I have known the man who founded this organization for some years. If his organization can quickly raise $5000 from 40 donors within a few days, then GlobalGiving will feature their organization on its website. This will enable them to attract more prospective funders. I have made a donation to them, I hope others will consider doing the same.
    Give Now

    Site Meter

  • Help the U.S. Ratify the Disability Treaty!

    Image of an hour glass overlaid on image of the Capitol building in DC. Text says, "Time is running out! Now is the time for the Senate to Act! Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities! #CRPD

    Learn why the CRPD matters and how to take action at!

  • Subscribe!

  • Bookmark and Share
  • Translate!

  • Connect to Andrea Shettle via Linked In

  • Archives

  • Topic Categories

  • Make WeCanDo Your “Favorite”

  • Stumble Upon It!

    Stumble It! Share this blog with other readers via "Stumble Upon"!
  • Follow We Can Do in Facebook!

  • We Can Do is in the GDRL!

  • Blog Stats

    • 740,001 hits
  • Map of Visitors

  • Meta

  • Facebook Networked Blogs

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: